LMPD Dive Team stresses water safety after busy weekend

Keeping your family safe on the water

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – It has been a rough week for some Kentuckiana families out on the water.

First a scare at a local community pool Monday where a child was taken to the hospital but expected to be okay.

Sky11 flew over that pool off Browns Lane shortly before noon after reports of a possible drowning in Hikes Point.

If you're within 25-feet of a body of water, it is imperative to wear a life jacket, that's the message from LMPD's Dive Team after their crews spent much of the past few days recovering two drowning victims.

Members gave WHAS11 News a behind the scenes look at how they gear up and more advice to keep you and your family safe.

The warmer months mean more people hitting the water, whether it’s the pool, lakes, ponds or the Ohio.

It’s very less cumbersome and there's nothing wrong with having one of these and wearing it all day,” Officer Chad Crick with LMPD’s Dive Team said.

Members helped Indiana officials search for the body of Marcus Williams who was swept away by currents on July 7 while fishing. They also went to Meade County to recover the body of a teenager who drowned near Battletown on July 8.

“It’s hard when you have a drowning victim that drowns and it's hard on their families when they don't have that closure, they're constantly not knowing where their family member is and it comes down to a duty,” Officer Crick said.

He showed us some of the technology and gear used in rescues and recovery.  The items include a rubber suit they wear to protect them from contaminated water, a 37-pound helmet that allows divers to communicate with their team and the air system for divers who are underwater for a long period of time.

Crick adds, “Don't always resort to immediately jumping in the water because you too can become a victim.”

That is important advice since many of us are overcome with the duty to help. Make sure to accurately describe your surroundings when you call 911.

Always check the current river conditions before getting on the water.

“It’s our duty to make sure that we get them that closure even though the circumstances are not how we want them to be,” Crick said.

It's far from an easy and glamorous job but it's very critical.

Crick says officers need your help in following water rules which can greatly decrease the chances of a drowning.

The dive team also has access to a helicopter and side scan sonar on the boats along with K-9 units.

You can find out the Ohio river conditions by contacting the McAlpine Lock and Dam which is located in the Portland neighborhood, call (502) 315-6487.

Officer Crick says if a loved one is in distress to call 911 because the chances of survival are the highest within the first hour of calling for help.

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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